Get these away from me.

God, fucking fuck saltines all covered in caramel and chocolate and nuts and baked to a crispy perfection.

That’s all I really have to say. Their existence is decimating my soul, because they rail so hard against my willpower. I might as well not have the ability to make my own decisions. That’s it, guys. I’m handing over the control board of this ill-fated ship to chocolate caramel crackers. I think we all might agree I’ll be better off this way anyway. Oh, you turned bright red when that cute guy in the grocery line tried to make conversation about the weather? And then by the time you recovered you made some sort of snarky off-putting comment? Be easy on yourself, baby. That’s just the motherboard of chocolate caramel crackers short-circuiting. Don’t worry about it. They’ve got everything under control now.

Oh wait you parked your car in a driveway overnight and thought it wouldn’t get towed? And then it did? And it cost almost $500 to get it back? Crackers’ fault.

Shoot, you lost your friend’s dog for 3 hours and forced your roommate and other friend to search for it the day after Halloween when most of you were still in costume/extremely hungover/morally bereft? Crackers!! While we’re at it, everything that happened Halloween night? CRACKERS.

Broke 2 pairs of sunglasses? And your waterbottle? Got bit by a spider? Tried to bake chocolate pudding cake in a silicone pan and spilled hot water all over yourself and the oven? Hate your job? Expired car registration? Late fee on your credit card? Crackers, crackers, crackers, crackers, crackers.

Well shit, all of a sudden I feel a great weight lifted. Oh no wait. The opposite. A great weight ingested. Against my will. God damn you. Crackers.

Chocolate Caramel Crackers
from Smitten Kitchen (all notes below are Deb’s)

4 to 6 sheets matzo or approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.

Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzo or crackers, covering all parts. [If using matzo, you'll need to break pieces to fit any extra spaces, which will be annoying because despite being perforated, it does not actually break in straight lines. I have some luck pressing a serrated knife straight down along a sectionbetween perforations, if that (hopefully) makes sense.]

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (The sea salt is great on matzo. On Saltines, it’s really not necessary.)

Once completely cool — I sometimes speed this process up in the fridge, impatient as should be expected in the face of caramel crack(ers) — break it into pieces and store it in a container. It should keep for a week but I’ve never seen it last that long.

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